Nigerian Senate Passes Anti-Gay Bill Criminalizing Homosexuality

On Tuesday, the Nigerian Senate passed an anti-gay bill criminalizing gay marriage, gay advocacy groups and same-sex public displays of affection. President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to sign the bill into law.

“The bill will expand Nigeria’s already draconian punishments for consensual same-sex conduct and set a precedent that would threaten all Nigerians’ rights to privacy, equality, free expression, association and to be free from discrimination,” said Erwin van der Borght, the director of Amnesty International’s Africa program.

Speaking of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, Sen. Baba-Ahmed Yusuf Datti of the opposition party Congress for Progressive Change strongly stated, “Such elements in society should be killed.”

Same-sex couples who marry could be sentenced to 14 years in prison. Religious leaders, witnesses and guests would also receive punishment of up to 10 years. In addition, the law would make it illegal to register for gay organizations. Public displays of affection would warrant 10 years behind bars as well.

Read more about anti-gay legislation below.